In what was perhaps the most amusing act of protest to occur during testimony by one of the world’s most powerful central bankers since ECB President Mario Draghi was glitter-bombed by far-left activist Josephine Witt two years ago, an anonymous bitcoiner trolled Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen by holding up a hand-made sign that read “Buy Bitcoin” during Yellen’s testimony before the House financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
Though the attendee and a friend who accompanied him were ultimately asked to leave by a staffer, the moment quickly went viral on twitter, sparking a community-wide hunt to uncover the brazen bitcoiner’s identity and bitcoin wallet ID so they could send him donations as a sign of solidarity.
The community’s response to the still unnamed man’s act of defiance yielded dozens of tweets, memes and, to date, more than $15,000 in donations to a bitcoin wallet purportedly belonging to the young troublemaker.
— briansBTCbrain (@BrianChillenman) July 13, 2017
Bitcoiner @cryptoethan, an 18-year-old trader who claims to be a close friend of “bitcoin sign guy” satisfied the community’s demands by posting a photo of sign guy holding another sign that advertised a bitcoin wallet address where donations could be sent. As of press time, the wallet has received more than six-and-a-half coins – equal to more than $15,000 at the current bitcoin price of about $2,340 per coin. Readers can check out the wallet in real time on blockchain.info.
Crypto Ethan, for his part, insists that he isn’t sign guy, and that, by posting the wallet address, he was merely helping out a friend.
Only posted Sign Guy's address because some people asked. Don't send it you don't trust me or don't want to.
— Ethan (@CryptoEthan) July 12, 2017
The moment provided a moment of levity for the bitcoin community, which is facing a day of reckoning that could ultimately split the network in two. On July 21, the bitcoin core development team will release its SegWit2x proposal. The software update would increase the amount of transaction data that the network can process every ten minutes, while also allowing the network to shift some of the transaction data onto side networks. As Bloomberg explains, Segwit2.0 has been made viable by a defection of miners to the bitcoin core camp. Previously, miners, many of whom are based in China, had presented a nearly unified front in opposition to SegWit2x.